Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. James Lewis

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Swords

Third Advisor

Stephen Podewell


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of bow and firearm hunting as a management tool for whitetail deer populations. A brief background on whitetail deer biology to provide adequate understanding of the species behavior was given. An overview of the conflicts that whitetail deer have with humans and the critical situation it creates was also given. Hunting was determined as the only practical management application to reduce populations of whitetail deer. The main body of this study was a bow and firearm hunting method comparison. The comparison involved several criteria such as harvested numbers, the sex targeted, and ease of administration. These criteria were analyzed to see which hunting method encourages the most beneficial situation in them. Land cover types were also related to the hunting process to determine which hunting method is more effective or desirable. The hypothesis was that bow hunting is more effective than firearm hunting in the context of Southwestern Michigan.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only